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Record 2018-monday

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The 2018 AFL Asia Vietnam Friendship Match Record. This will be available at the game between the Vietnam Swans and the Thailand Tigers on 28th of April at Lam Son Oval in Vung Tau (the dog track). This is the 10th year the Swans have played an ANZAC Day match with the first being in Kanchanaburi Thailand, the remaining in Vung Tau. Back in the war the Australian troops played football for R&R on the same field that the Friendship match is played on today!

Record 2018-monday

  1. 1. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 1 The Vietnam Swans ANZAC Friendship Match proudly supports Swim Vietnam and the Vung Tau Center For Children’s Protection. All money raised across the weekend goes to these 2 wonderful causes. To find out how else you can help contact the Swans. CONTRIBUTORS Eric Kerrison, Jazza, Billy Crang, Rod Gillet, Rowan Luke, Micka Matthews, Zoe Osborne, Chia Sabbatucci, Peter Crichton, Ross McRae, Ron & Ailsa Vernon, James Bairstow, Brennan Davis. Design by Phong Giang Courtesy of X Digital Contents 3 - 2018 ANZAC Friendship Weekend Run Sheet 5 - Swans President’s Welcome - Eric Kerrison 7 - Tigers President’s Welcome - Jarrod Roberts 8 - Feature - A Footy Train Bridges Kanchanaburi and Vung Tau - Phil Johns 10 - From The long, Dark Shadow Of Hellfire Pass To Long Tan 13 - 10 Years of Friendship - Billy Crang recaps 10 Amazing ANZAC Matches 16 - Legends v All Stars Match Preview 20 - Vietnam Swans Introduction 21 - Vietnam Swans Team Guide 23 - Thailand Tigers Team Introduction 24 - Thailand Tigers Team Guide 25 - Development - Vietnam Swans Ladies Team Takes Flight 27 - Ron & Ailsa Vernon 29 - ANZAC Friendship Match FAQs 32 - History of the VFL - Stan Middleton 37 - Development - Saigon Colts Auskick 39 - The Vung Tau Centre for Childhood Prevention 41 - Feature - ANZAC Day AFL Brings Mateship to Vietnam 44 - Đôi điều về Bóng Đá Úc 45 - 2018 Sponsors Thanks and Swans Theme Song
  2. 2. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 3 Run Sheet Throughout the day 5:00 PM 12:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:15 PM 4:30 PM 7-10:00 PM – Transport to Vung Tau – Welcome drinks, dinner and live footy downstairs at Tommy’s Bar 3 – Lagler Legends v Al Fresco’s All Stars – Formalities - Anthems, Ode, 1 Minute Silence – 2018 Friendship Match - Vietnam Swans vs Thailand Tigers – After Match Presentations – McMillan Dinner at the Pullman Hotel Vung Tau Recovery breakfast at Tommy’s Bar 3, thanks to Glenn and Trang for 9 years of supporting the Swans Friendship in Vung Tau. This weekend won’t be the same without Tommy’s! Friday 27th April Saturday 28th April Sunday 29th April HEAR FROM 3 X AFL ANZAC DAY PLAYER MATTY FRANCIS AT THE MCMILLAN DINNER TICKETS 1.2M VND FREEFLOW /1M VND NO ALCOHOL / 700K VND CHILDREN 15 Thi Sach Street, Thang Tam Ward, Phuong Thang Tam, VUNG TAU Middleton Address Presented By: Phil Johns the godfather of the Swans and founder of the ANZAC Friendship Match in Vietnam explaining the inspiration the Swans took from a visit to Kanchanaburi on ANZAC Day 2009 to play the Tigers and where we are now. President’s Addresses & Insights from Matty Francis 3 x AFL ANZAC Day Match Player for the Collingwood Magpies
  3. 3. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 5 KERRO Swans President's Welcome PRESIDENT - VIETNAM SWANS AFL FOOTBALL CLUB On behalf of the Vietnam Swans Australian Football Club, I would like to welcome everybody to the 9th Anzac Friendship Match here in Vung Tau, the spiritual home of Australian Football in Vietnam. The friendship day is undoubtedly the most important day on the calendar for our club, as it allows us a moment to reflect on all of those that have gone before us, throughout history, but more importantly, it allows us time to reflect and give thanks to the warmth with which we are received by the people of Vietnam, as foreigners living in a foreign land, although, for many of us now it is home, we have assimilated into the community and have beautiful Vietnamese families of our own. Once again, we all make the journey to Vung Tau, a town that is the birthplace of Australian Football in Vietnam, to once again take the field against a close neighbor and rival. It is with the utmost respect and pleasure that we welcome the Thailand Tigers to Vietnam to take part in the friendship game, we also thank Thailand for giving us the honor of playing in Kanchanaburi the previous week. This is the first time that we have had the privilege to play in a home and away series, for the Anzac Friendship match. The start of 2018 has been quite a hectic one for all of us here at the club. We have seen many departures, people new to parenthood, new arrivals to this wonderful country and the Swans, growth in the club in the local player arena and excitingly, the first official Vietnam Swan’s women’s team. Unfortunately for us, the women’s team were unable to find an opponent for the game this year, but I am sure as the game continues to grow in the region, they will be involved in the future. As I am now well into my second year as President of this great club, I am proud of the direction we are heading as a club, with continued growth throughout the country. We have a new club structure both on and off the field, and the early signs are that it appears to be working well for the whole club. With that in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those involved in the club, both officially and non-officially for their continued support and counsel, as it certainly makes what we achieve here possible. I would also like to thank all of our sponsors who help us achieve our goals, without their continued financial support it would be difficult to continue to grow this great game of ours in our adopted new homeland of Vietnam. For those of you who have travelled from far and wide to come to this event, please sit back, enjoy the day and what promises to be 2 very exciting games of football. by ERIC KERRISON Vietnam Swans HONK that horn LOUD
  4. 4. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 7 Tigers President's Welcome JAZZA PRESIDENT - THAIL AND TIGERS AFL FOOTBALL CLUB On behalf of everyone at the Thailand Tigers, wel- come to Vung Tau and the 9th ANZAC Friendship Match, this year played between the Vietnam Swans and Thailand Tigers. For both clubs this is the second of two matches played in honour of the ANZACS in 2018, with the first match held on Saturday 21st April in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. It is a huge honour and a privilege to get this oppor- tunity to pay our respect and remember all of the courageous and brave men and women who have served for our country. The Tigers have a lot of respect for our opponents in this match, the Vietnam Swans. There have been some epic battles between the clubs, with both clubs winning their fare share of Indochina Cups. It is always a fiercely contested game and great to share a beer amongst mates afterwards. It has been an amazing opportunity to hold back-to-back commemorative ANZAC matches in 2018, and the Tigers are extremely grateful to the Swans for enabling this to happen. A mate the other day asked the question, "What does ANZAC Spirit mean?" I am sure there are many different ways to answer this, with each definition having it's own special meaning to its holder. For me, it epitomises all of the qualities that we look for in our mates. ANZAC Day provides an opportunity to reflect and to remember the great people that have fought, have given their lives, and contin- ue to serve our great country. They are the characteristics that define the ANZAC Spirit - courage, sacrifice, humour and mateship. And while being part of a football club enables mateship and courage, it pales in comparison to what the ANZAC's stand for. Apart from the love of footy, the ANZAC commemorative matches are a special event for the Thailand Tigers for many reasons, most significantly playing football in honour of all those who have served for our country, especially the POWs who worked on the Thai-Burma railway at Kanchanaburi during World War 2. We hope you enjoy your weekend, and importantly, take time to reflect and pay respect to all those who have fought for our great country. Lest we forget. by JARROD 'JAZZA' ROBERTS, Thailand Tigers
  5. 5. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD8 A Footy Train Bridges Kanchanaburi And Vung Tau A FOOTY TRAIN BRIDGES KANCHANABURI AND VUNG TAU It was back in 2009 at the old Café Latin Bar in Saigon where I bumped into Patrick Stringer. The Thailand Tigers had invited the Swannies to play in their ANZAC Commemorative Match in Kanchanaburi and I was keen to share the news with Patrick. While I didn’t realise it at the time, it was a bit like gently tossing a stone from a Bridge into the River Kwai. I didn’t hear the splash. I didn’t see the ripples. Initially. Patrick would later recount: “I am sure I looked pretty stupid standing in front of Phil, in stunned silence… But what Phil didn’t know was that my father was among the very first group of POWs to be sent from Changi to work on the Thai–Burma railway… Dad spent 1,548 days in active service overseas during World War II – the majority of them as a POW of the Japanese…” Patrick added that, “Despite living and working in Vietnam for 4 years, and with the railway so close, I had not yet summoned the courage to visit…That place, hallowed as it may be, was an awful place, a place of death and dying and I did not have (Dad’s) permission to go there.” Until that ANZAC Commemorative Match on Saturday 25 April 2009. We all attended the Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass. During the Service, we listened to the same noises in the jungle that the Prisoners of War would have heard. During the Minute’s Silence, the jungle was deafening. Later that morning, there was a service at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. Ex POW, Bill Haskell spoke determinedly, deliberately – and with love: “The established rules of warfare in relation to prisoners of war were abandoned completely in the frenzy to push the railway through. We remember these men (who died building the railway) with great affection and deepest Respect” You could hear a pin drop. Prior to the laying of the official wreaths at the cenotaph, the Thailand Tigers presented the Vietnam Swans with a wreath to lay. The Tigers had their own wreath which included the names of each of the Asian footy clubs that had played previously in Kanchanaburi on the ANZAC Weekend. It was a magnificently generous and respectful tradition of the Thailand Tigers. If ever an AFL Asia was to come into being, this would surely be a significant source of inspiration. The Swans touring party to Kanchanaburi in 2009, an unforgettable experience! Bonus points spot the current day players including one fit young bloke next to the banner and one Hall of Famer playing his "last" game for the Swans!
  6. 6. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 9 A Footy Train Bridges Kanchanaburi And Vung Tau In the afternoon, our two teams lined up to welcome the three attending former POWs: Bill Haskell, Neil MacPherson and Milton “Snow” Fairclough. The fourth, Ernie Redman had suffered a heart attack in Australia, just two days before he was due to travel to Thailand for ANZAC Day and was recovering back there. When the diggers appeared, players and people in the crowd applauded spontaneously. The match then kicked off. It was hot. Filthy hot – but that made no difference to the Thailand Tigers who had complete control of the match for its duration winning 91 to just 13 points. At the post match formalities, Bill Haskell remarked how impressed he was that both teams were able to play in such “oppressive heat”. Earlier in the day at the morning service, Patrick had heard Bill Haskell refer to a man from “A” Force – the same Force that Patrick’s Dad had served in. At the conclusion of the formalities, Patrick approached Bill but, choking up, excused himself and returned to the Swannies’ tent for an icy cold beer. Ten minutes later, Patrick felt a tap on the shoulder. He turned around and there was Bill Haskell “standing with the support of his son and his two walking sticks in the still blazing late afternoon sun. He had followed me to the tent. He looked me in the eye, offered his hand and said ‘I didn’t know your Dad, but those boys in ‘A’ Force knew all about it. Thank you for making yourself known to me.’ The ANZAC Commemorative Match had nothing to do with footy. Rather, footy served as a magnificent vehicle to bring people together to delve into their own experiences, as appropriate. On the Sunday, as our bus pulled out of Kanchanaburi to head to the airport, some of us were already talking about revisiting the idea of having an ANZAC Match in Vietnam. We had first raised the idea in 2006, on the 40th anniversary of Long Tan. The advice of the then Australian Ambassador was that we should avoid hosting a commemorative match on either ANZAC Day or Long Tan Day. If we wanted to hold a match on a significant day, he suggested 25 February which is the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam. Meanwhile, on the same bus trip to the airport, Michael Johnston was arguing passionately that the Vietnam Swans should actively support initiatives to reduce the numbers of children drowning in Vietnam. Vietnam is a country where more children die from drowning than road accidents. On the Wednesday after returning to Vietnam, the Vietnam Swans learned that former POW, Ernie Redman had slipped away. We had never met Ernie but just when we felt that we knew something of him, he had found his place of eternal rest. Vale Ernie. And who was there in Esperance, Western Australia for Ernie’s funeral? Bill Haskell. “I saw Bill Haskell today at Ernie’s funeral”, wrote Grant in an email to the Vietnam Swans. “Bill spoke again and once more his words were mesmerising. At around 90 years of age, Bill has sat on a 10 hour plus, 700km bus trip to be at the funeral...” Would Bill have done anything else? The magnitude of the ANZAC Commemorative Match in Kanchanaburi continued to sink in after we returned to Vietnam. There were supposed to have been four ex POWs at that Match – but, in a sense, as we stood on the banks of the River Kwai, we saw Ernie Redman pass through the bridge of life resulting in just three proud Diggers attending. Just as time was marching for the former POWs – so too it was for many of our battered and bruised Vietnam Veterans. But, temporarily, time was on our side. Choosing to live and work in modern day Vietnam while playing footy, we think, is akin to living the dream. But for many, since their visit here 40 years earlier, they have been living the hell. Just as there was an obligation for us to better understand the history, there was an obligation for us to reach out to anyone interested in engaging with the vibrant, modern day, forward-looking Vietnam. Footy is such a powerful vehicle to bring people together - and it could work here. The Swannies’ Committee comprised both playing and non playing members. Non playing members were critical in offering perspectives that weren’t
  7. 7. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD10 From The Long, Dark Shadow Of Hellfire Pass To Long Tan The Tigers, Swans and POWs after the 2009 ANZAC Match in Kanchanaburi clouded by the “footy bubble” to ensure that we could successfully negotiate the political tightrope of an ANZAC match in Vietnam. The match would be known as the ANZAC Friendship Match. All players from all teams would wear two black armbands, one on each arm, to ensure that every photo carried the same message: we were recognizing the sacrifices and suffering by all people on all sides. But we wouldn’t focus on the doom and gloom of the history. The history was the thunderclap to bring people together. And just as the Vietnamese are forward focused, we would support initiatives for the future: children. Our guiding principle and tagline became Honouring lost lives; saving young lives. In a country where more children die from drowning than road accidents, we would raise money on the day to support Swim Vietnam. We would also support the Vung Tau Orphanage run by Ms My Huong. The coastal city of Vung Tau was important as it had served as the Australians’ logistics base during the war. According to Wikipedia, a game of footy had actually been played in Vung Tau during the war. Despite our best efforts, unfortunately, we didn’t have any more information than that. 2nd Warrant Officer, Daniel Kindness introduced us to Glenn Nolan from Tommy’s Bar in Vung Tau who, apparently, was keen to help organize the match. Glenn was brilliant. He loved the concept and played a pivotal role in making the Inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match happen in 2010, just 12 months after we were at Kanchanaburi. To reduce potential political sensitivities, our first match would not be an international. It would be a domestic match played between Hanoi and Saigon. In the inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match, Veterans Kevin McMillan and John Brown, together with captains Josh Little and Mark “Willy” Williams escorted the match ball, supplied by the Hawthorn Football Club, to the field umpire. 400 people, including some veterans, filled the stand at the Greyhound Racing Track. The previous day, Daniel Kindness had taken us to places like Nui Dat, SAS Hill and the Long Tan Cross. We visited My Huong at the Vung Tau Orphanage. The following morning, we joined the Dawn Service before watching Collingwood and Essendon fight it out on TV back at Tommy’s Bar. Less than three weeks later, a gentleman by the name of Stan Middleton left a message on the Swannies’ website which read, “I served in Vung Tau in 1967- 68. A full scale Aussies Rules Competition between (seven) Australian units was conducted (twice a year). The Competition commenced in either 1966 or 1967 and I believe went through to 1971… We initially played all our games where the Greyhound Racing Track is now in Vung Tau…” Boom! Until that message, our ANZAC Friendship Match had a history of just three weeks. Now, there was 44 years and three weeks of history at Vung Tau’s Greyhound Racing Track! In 2012, there were flashbacks of Ernie Redman. Just nine days after that year’s ANZAC Friendship Match. News came through that Kev McMillan, a passionate rugby man who applauded what the ANZAC AFL Friendship Match represented, lost his courageous fight with cancer. From the long, dark shadow of Hellfire Pass to the
  8. 8. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 11 From The Long, Dark Shadow Of Hellfire Pass To Long Tan Phil presenting the 3 POWs veterans who attended the 2009 ANZAC Match in Kanchanaburi with Swans polos. Kev McMillan (Swans shirt) with John Brown, escort the match ball to the field umpire at the beginning of the Inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match, 2010. (Flanked by coaches Willy and Josh Little) Long Tan Cross, time was continuing its relentless march. And from Kanchanaburi to Vung Tau, the footy train keeps rolling, bringing people together to appropriately recognize the history and to do things differently going forward. Note: The dinner and address which follow the ANZAC Friendship Match are now named the McMillan Dinner and Middleton Address. Kev McMillan died on 1 May 2012, exactly one year to the day after former POW, Bill Haskell died on 1 May 2011, aged 90.
  9. 9. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 13 10 Years Of Friendship The ANZAC Friendship match has grown into something that any Swans player or family member looks forward to and will always look back fondly on. So many elements have combined to make this one of the most unique games of AFL on the planet. - Remembering and celebrating the ANZAC Spirit and those who fought on both sides here in Vietnam with such bravery. - Playing on the same turf the diggers played on during down time from the horrors of war. - Being in the midst of Vets who have done such wonderful things in the community around here since returning to discover a Vietnam at peace. - Welcoming teams from all over Asia. The tradition of the McMillan Dinner and Middleton Address which have drawn names like Andrew Embley, Brad Seymour, Richard Osbourne and Alex Jesaulenko (you beauty!!!) - It all comes together as the weekend that means more the the Swans than any other. Despite all that, this year is unique! Thailand have will always have a special spot as the inspiration behind what we do, the Kanchanaburi match opened our eyes and showed us how a simple game of football 10 YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP Words Bill Crang can connect with a far more important event. Since our first ever ANZAC Day game in Kanchanaburi we’ve played 9 here in Vietnam with 2018 We are also creating another milestone both our 10th and 11th ANZAC games, in the process creating another milestone - Home & Away ANZAC Day games. Somehow I’ve now managed to play them all and they will forever be some of the greatest memories of my life. Here’s my sometimes cloudy memory across all those years: 2009 - Vietnam Swans v Thailand Tigers in Kanchanaburi Wow! This was my first ever tour and what a baptism of literal fire. Mid forty degrees and a red hot opponent opened my eyes but by the end being well around 100 points down a major all day most of us were cowering with our eyes closed in the fetal position. The tour remains one of the best I’ve ever been on though with the amazing stories of some of the heroic diggers who endured so much on the Burma Death Railway, the morning ceremony (ANZAC was a Saturday that year) and a post game cruise down the River Kwai. Great touring squad that absolutely tore Kanchanaburi a new one capped off a great weekend and in hindsight I’m not surprised left me wholeheartedly addicted to playing footy throughout Asia. The pressure we bought to this game is still memorable. The Wombats never found their feet and we enjoyed one of our best wins ever!
  10. 10. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD14 10 Years Of Friendship 2010 - Hanoi Hawks(63) v Saigon Swans(62) Heritage Match in Vung Tau Phil Johns, the visionary behind almost every piece of the Swans platform as a club was inspired by the power of ANZAC Day in Kanchanaburi the year before. As expats loving life in Vietnam what was amazing was how little we knew beyond Forest Gump of the war that shook the world here for over a decade. None the less, somewhat fortunately we moved on to play a friendship game in Vung Tau. Unbeknown to us this was the hallowed turf the diggers played on during their down time some 40 years earlier. Not only that but some of them were in the crowd - which shocked us in its size - and very quickly we were able to learn some of the history of the Australian involvement but also some of the Vietnamese side of a war that really had no winner. The two black arm-bands respect concept was born out of respect for soldier enduring the horror of war on either side of the battle. As always the North cheated thoroughly and claimed the game by a point. One great hit by Greg Stanton on the wing was a highlight. A friendship match in name but it was obvious playing here on this epic ground games were never going to be soft! As we took stock of all we learnt the gravity of what the ANZAC Friendship Match at the Lord Mayor’s Oval in Vung Tau was going to become mega. We were still to see how mega. 2011 - Vietnam Swans (89) d Hong Kong Dragons (47) in Vung Tau Part of the reason I think the Friendship Match has become such a great event was attracting one of the premier AFL Asia teams to the first ever International Match. The Dragons go deep if not win every single Asian Championships and have one of the best touring cultures in Asia. This was my first glimpse into it and it helped us to grow as a footy club immensely. The Dragons weren't short on talent on this tour but as our first international friendship game in front of a massive crowd who'd heard about the previous year's game we played out of our skins. BOG was Angry Dave Hadley and the greatly missed Nick Shiells were up in the best. Richard Osbourne (still in very handy nick) played for both teams but definitely gave a bit more for the Swans. Despite a comfortable win on the scoreboard the game stayed in the balance all day! Coach Josh ‘Pudding’ Little’s now famous words to “go out and (awkward pause) pull off the greatest win this Vietnam Swans has ever done(sic)” definitely rang true! Google - 9 News 2011 Vung Tau Frienship Match! 2012 - Vietnam Swans (79) d China Reds (56) The Reds were a mystery coming into this game. We hadn’t seen much of them but knew that with Shanghai and Beijing combining some serious talent would be headed our way. The game was memorable for me as it was the first time my parents watched me play a game of football in Vietnam. After embarrassing myself up forward I was shifted into defense for the second quarter onto a bloke who seemed very handy. After a tough tussle that quarter dad was quick to point out that that ‘handy’ player was 155 game North Melbourne veteran Shannon Watt, that I should be very careful on him and good luck - just what I needed to know. Despite myself entering the second half shaking like a leaf the boys were too good all over the field especially in the middle with a freshly arrived Dave Oshea and skipper Dukesy all over the Chinese. 2013 - Vietnam Swans (59) defeated by Jakarta Bintangs (69) The bubble burst! The Bintangs brought a tight, experienced touring squad and shocked us for our first loss at the Dog Track. We had plenty of great players in Vietnam at that time but the Bintangs were simply more focused and cohesive and it showed us that with way players come in and out of Asian Footy clubs the most important is to have an ongoing simple structure that blokes of all level can walk into comprehend and function within. Very much what What an honour to lay a wreath with then President Josh Lee on behalf of the Vietnam Swans in 2015 at the Long Tan Cross.
  11. 11. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 15 Rod and Jakey have been focused on in 2018. 2014 - Vietnam Swans (100) d Malaysian Warriors (11) From the outset this was a belting led by Tra-vy ‘the Butcher’ Fallon. The first 2 clearances came forward with Trav taking the ball from contested scuffles and snapping amazing goals. It was going to be one of those days! Trav didn’t let up going on to kick about 6 and neither did any Swannie, pounding the Warriors into the Lord Mayors Oval dust. After the heartbreak in 2013 no-one could have seen this coming but it was a welcome drubbing of one of the least liked teams in Asia. The Middleton Address that night was given by none other than AFL legend Alex Jesaulenko. Jezza praising how much Asian footy was like he remembered from his days unlike the modern polished, heartless game played on the biggest stage in Australia each winter. 2015 Vietnam Swans (90) d Singapore Wombats (49) 2015 saw the 25th of April coincide with the Saturday game. What an honour to place a wreath at the Long Tan Cross, discuss the Battle of Long Tan and the entire war with survivors and then play some footy with your best mates! Once again the Swans were on a roll, the playing group getting out of their favorite bars and into the gym in the run into the 2015 Friendship Match against another team that everyone loves to beat, the then Asian Champ Singapore Wombats. Again we came out firing, Hanoi bringing their kicking boots down with Tommy Doer, Joe Vile, Grant Keys and Northern co-captain David Skowronski all kicking multiple majors. 2016 Vietnam Swans defeated by Jakarta Bintangs Not again! The Bintangs were invited back given they’d been the only team amongst Asia’s biggest opponents to knock us off. Surely they wouldn’t upset us on our biggest day of the season for a second time?! This time Dave Oshea was on the other side with a limited touring squad the Bintangs went to work drafting the best players out of the Legends game getting themselves some rotations to play with. The game continually see-sawed but eventually the Bintangs prevailed after the Swans were too slow to adjust our strategy going forward looking for Keysey being picked off by the Bintangs CHB. Heart break again! 2017 Vietnam Swans d Cambodian Eagles The Eagles had an amazing end to 2016 taking out an Indochina Cup we believe we should have won after upsetting us in the pool game and knocking us out of the finals. They were heading to Vung Tau planning on inflicting another embarrassing upset and are always a danger and even had our 4 x best and fairest player Dukesy on the tour! The game was hot and hard as always but slowly and surely we gained the ascendancy and maintained our composure in the last quarter when the Eagles snagged a few goals to close the margin. Jimmy Bairstow was given Best On Ground for his tireless work through the middle and around the ground. Bring on 2018 Home & Away and another 10 awesome Friendship games. Lest we forget - We will remember them!!! 10 Years Of Friendship The Bintangs have an uncanny knack of pulling us down on our biggest day. This time they took out our key route to goals in big Grant Keys and we took too long to adjust.
  12. 12. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD16 Legends v All Stars Preview The Legends have won the annual All Stars v Legends matches since Rowan took over as playing coach in 2015. Rowan has put together a team of tough, crafty expats led by his skipper Trevor Long, fly-ins from Melton such as Danny Webber, and some talented, pacey local players. It’s been a winning formula. The All Stars nearly pulled off a major upset last year but atrocious kicking for goal cruelled their chances and they lost by one agonizing point. "Kerro" believes this year will be different with the All Stars bolstered by some stunning local players who will burn off the older, slower Legends. This pace-to- burn approach will be complemented by the vigour of Kyle Hackenberg and some surprise inclusions. The All Stars v Legends which is played as a curtain- raiser to the main game is an integral part of the Anzac Friendship match day program. The RECORD spoke to Legends coach Rowan Luke on the eve of the game, here’s his response: Hey Rowan, you’ve been known to bring a bit of heat come game day…what can we expect this year? More of the same!! I tend to get a bit animated when coaching. I am passionate about footy and playing on a special ground and day means a lot to me and those that play. We tend not to be the fittest bunch of footy players with most playing in their prime in the 1990’s so I try to rev up my team as much as I can to get the best out of them. I guess it is just the competitive spirit in me wanting to win. This year I have a few tricks up my sleeve for Rocket, and although I can’t say too much, expect plenty of “don’t argue’s” and a fairly unique game structure… "Trying to get the Commonwealth Bank Cup out of Rowan Luke's CBA sponsored training bag is like trying to take the bone of a mangy Saigon street dog" according to All Stars skipper Eric Kerrison. "He just won't let go. But this year we're going to prise it out." LEGENDS VS ALL STARS Ah, Mcrae's pace proves too much for Adam 'Stacka' Corrall in 2016. Last year's Legends and All Stars after a boilover 1 point victory to the legends in the last quarter.
  13. 13. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 17 Legends v All Stars Preview The game means a lot to you, tell us a bit about your involvement? I have been fortunate enough to play in most of the Legends games and have been playing coach since 2015. This follows an illustrious 2 game career with the Swans, although I am better known as the club’s Treasurer for 5 or 6 years. The game means a lot to me and also to those that play. I think there are a few key reasons for that. Firstly, the game is played in a great spirit. As coaches, both Rocket and myself remind players before the game what the day is all about, friendship, and whilst we all contest the game hard, we expect our teams to play in the spirit of the day. The game brings people back. A number of our players fly in from different parts of the world each year specifically to play. They come back because it is a special day, a lot of fun and a great way to catch up with mates. The game has developed in the last few years as a way of bringing on board and developing local talent. Last year we had a number of local players who really brought a lot of excitement to the game and kicked the majority of goals. Hopefully we can continue this in the coming years and bring more local talent into the senior ranks. There’s plenty of talent around this year. What do you think will win the game? Skills? Fitness? Size? Ticker? Great question! The game is played in pretty brutal conditions during the middle of the day in the hottest month of the year. To be honest, most of the team are pretty stuffed after about quarter time and tend to run on ticker after then so rotating your bench as much as possible helps. Games have tended to be won or lost in the last quarter as fatigue sets in which is why I save my best rev up speech for 3 qtr time. I suspect this year may be a bit different with a number of fit and skilled players likely to make their Legends debut. Will the Legends backline hold up? Can the All Stars get the footy out of the middle? All key aspects but I suspect straight kicking will be the key – last year we had 8 shots at goal to 17 and we still won because we kicked straight! Lagler are prominent in this game but also throughout the Friendship match history. Can you tell us a bit about Lagler’s initiatives to support the Orphanage? I, along with many of you here today, have been fortunate in having being able to reside here for a number of years as a guest of the Vietnamese people. I believe that with this great opportunity also comes responsibility; responsibility to represent my own country in the best possible manner and to give back to the Vietnamese people who have afforded me this opportunity. To this end, I am proud of the work that the club does in providing support for the Vung Tau Orphanage and Swim Vietnam. Lagler Australia, a club sponsor headed up by my brother, Cameron has also done an incredible job for the Orphanage. Each year, Cameron raises funds from friends, family, suppliers and clients of his business to provide food, clothing and equipment for the Orphanage. Furthermore, both Lagler and Alfrescos last year also donated funds for each goal kicked in the game. Can I have a kick? Who is eligible to play? Absolutely! The game is open to anyone who wants to play. We usually have players register with the club prior to game day but often have people on the day wanting to have a kick as well. If you want to have a kick please come and see me or Rocket. Scariest moment in a Legends Game? When you realise you are just about to get tackled by Kyle “The Man Mountain” Hackenberg. In a moment like that you appreciate that there are medical staff on standby….. Kyle 'the Bull' Hackenberg's barnstorming runs through the centre of the Lord Mayor's Oval are the stuff of legend. Look out for them in 2018!
  14. 14. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD18 Legends v All Stars Preview Best Goal? Aside from an outstanding goal from myself a few years back….it would have to be the Viking’s booming 60+ metre goal to get the All Stars over the line in a brutal 4th quarter in 2015. I couldn’t believe it was his first game of footy!! Danny Webber also kicked an absolute blinder last year from about the same range. I think a few of the Swannies recruiters were keen for Danny to move to Vietnam after that goal! Best performance in a Legends game? That is a tough one…A few come to mind. Ex-Sydney Swans player Brad Seymour, playing a blinding fourth quarter in 2016 despite having done his hamstring 30 seconds into the game and not being able to walk. I think he kicked 2 in the last and handed off one to give the Legend’s a come from behind win. But the best performance has to go to Adam “Stacka” Corrall who kicked 8.1 in 2014. We had a dream forward line that year with Stacka marking and kicking almost everything, Kyle chipped in kicking 2 and me 1. The only disappointing part was Stacka’s behind. He had the footy in the pocket and despite MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN ON THE DAY. GO SWANNIES AND LEGENDS!!! me standing in the goal square by myself, chose to have a shot at goal like all good forwards do. I still remind him to this day that it is ok to handball to your teammate in the goalsquare! His reply……what’s a handball??? Your dream team? We have had some fantastic players over the years who I would love to see play again. Big Danny Webber and ex-President Josh “Little Head” Lee in the middle with the Melton boys Ocker and Lermy alongside Timmy Pickerts down back. Stacka and Kyle up forward along with the silky smooth skills of Fabbo to kick a few sausage rolls from half forward. I would also play the critical role of bench!! Final comments? Just a few. I wanted to thank the club for organizing the game and allowing both myself and Rocket to coach. It takes a lot of effort to put together a day like this and for me it is a real thrill and something I cherish. I would also like to thank the Vietnamese authorities for giving us permission to play each year and to all of our supporters who come out to watch us play. Our match is all about friendship and we hope that you enjoy the day.
  15. 15. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 19 History Of The Swans
  16. 16. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD20 Swans Intro Year Formed: 2003 National Coach: Rod "Rocket" White Captain: Billy Crang Leadership Group: Jake Norris, James Bairstow, Micka Matthews National President: Eric Kerrison No. Asian Champs Contested: 12 Best Ever Finish: 4th last Year's Results: Semi-Finalist Div 2, Indochina champions The Swans embrace 2018 with a sense of antici- pation unlike recent seasons. Plenty of new blood around trainings in the North and the South and some great early season footy have the whole club up and about. Another massive part of early 2018 has been the launch of the Vietnam Swans Women’s team. Our development now spans from Auskick through to adults of all nationalities and now genders. We look forward to attending our first ever Asian Champs with both men’s and women’s team later in the year in Kuala Lumpur. The Hanoi Swans began playing in footy in Hanoi back in 2003. We went national in 2007 under the “one country; one club” principle. We became the Vietnam Swans and attended our first Asian Champs all in the same year. 2011 saw the Swans reach our first Champs Semi Finals going down to eventual winners the Singapore Wombats. In 2016 the Swans took the Asian Champs came to Saigon in what was (and still is) the best ever tournament in Asia. The Swans look forward to escalating footy across the region via local, women’s and junior development. We’ll continue attending and hosting first class tournaments and continuing to bring the Awesomeness of Asian footy to all corners of this great country. 2017 year was a mixed bag for the Swans, losing both legs of the Cannonball Run (vs Cambodia), a home game to the Malaysian Warriors shook confidence but later in the year hosting the Indo- china Cup in Hanoi the Swans found form with a comprehensive win carrying onto the Asian Champs in Manila and going deep into Division 2 before a slightly undermanned squad was overun by a combined Indochina team. 2018 poses plenty of challenges most notably this ANZAC home and away series, defending the ICC in Phnom Penh and achieving an improved result in either division at the Champs. HISTORY OF THE SWANS
  17. 17. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 21 Swans Team Guide Bill “the Ultimate Clubman” Crang Bill is one of the most passionate swans giving up so much of his own time for the benefit of the entire club. Men like Bill are who the young blokes play for. The ever reliable full back man playing his 11th ANZAC Game for the Swans is willing to sacrifice the glory to his team-mates in the midfield and up forward. A true leader Bill is the general of the backline. For post- match drinks, Billy has recently improved his form. Whilst still talking absolute rot, he has managed to stay awake until after dinner time. Jake ‘King of the North” Norris Recently returned to reclaim his throne from Kerro and C-Dan, Jakey is batting way above his average relationship wise but doesn’t have the same issues on the footy field. Majestic skills, confidence with the ball in hand and great awareness on the ground. Jake will be heard directing team in a positive way lifting his teammates. The king is a dedicated vegan though so we’re hoping he doesn't pass out from malnutrition in the last quarter! Jimmy Bairstow Old man niggling injuries mean Jimmy has entered the maintenance stage of his career. JB still brings great commitment and leadership to every training session. Don’t be fooled, this wise old man’s decision to take a step back from the intense swans training schedule means he will be firing on all cylinders come game day. Expect big hits, strong hands, great leadership until a hot temper takes over in the second half! Odds on for BOG. Micka "The Viking" Matthews Don’t let the viking exterior fool you, Micka, another of the new generation at the Swans is a big softie. He has bought the viking attitude to the footy field though in 2018, hard fast contesting across half forward will spell danger for the Tiger’s all day! Rod “Rocket” White Hailing from the glory days of professional football - when match payments consisted of a can of coke and a sausage roll - Rocket, also known as Fossil, is the inspirational playing coach that holds the Swan’s together. He constantly suggests he is past his prime but there is no argument that he is still playing on another level when he takes to the field. Rodney Stone This unsuspecting accountant is a true hard nut Ben Affleck style even training one handed for several weeks due to breaking his finger in a marking contest (it was kick to kick at training). After the incident Rod had to explain to his disappointed girlfriend why he could no longer wear his matching “promise” ring they purchased together due to the enlarged finger. What the hell is a “promise” ring? Tommy “Watto” Watson The players player and all round nice guy is one of the most respected men on the team. Showing drive, determination, focus and positivity not just on the field but at post training and team bonding sessions. Tommy set’s a great example of what a boy’s night out is all about. New to Footy but learning very quickly, the big fella has become a key part of the Swan’s attack. Oscar “the Grouch” Silk Men want to play like him and women want to play with him. This 23 year old heart-throb prefers to drink from and expensive Evian water bottle at trainings and insists on drinking cider on bus tours rather than a cold frothie from the team esky. Reckons he is allergic to wheat or something but the boys have spotted his silver spoon a mile off. The Grouch has absolutely no allergies when it comes to the roo-skin possessing a great set of hands, a perfect kick and a high football IQ. Spectators get out your popcorn... Oscar will put on a show! Tommy “the Pom” Holden With a background in rugby no man has made the adjustment to AFL better than Pommy Tommy. Though quietly spoken his hard tackles, 1% efforts and willingness to learn boost the teams motivation to strive for greatness. A perfect example of how Asian footy brings people from different upbringings to learn, play and master this great game. Dinh ‘Speedy’ Anh Constantly evolving as a player the speed demon will look to create pressure on his opponent creating mistakes giving the Swans the chance to move the ball forward. During the cannonball run legs his reliable set of hands and increased understanding of the game drove some great passages of play and several scoring opportunities for the Swans.
  18. 18. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD22 Swans Team Guide Doan ‘DANGSTA’ Dang Local Vietnamese player Dangsta is naturally a pacey footballer who could hold his own back in Australia against people who have played all their lives. The Dangsta will be a real headache for the Tigers. Le Quang ‘Little’ Vinh (2) Little Vinh showcases the spirit of the AFL and why we love it. Not blessed with the height it takes scare the opposition he is always willing to go up against anyone regardless of size. Win or lose a contest Vinh will be looking for his next opportunity to help his team. Tristan “overpriced beer” Robinson Owner of a classy and respectable Bar in Saigon, Tristan hasn’t offered the team half price beer yet! Though selfish when it comes to providing cheap beer for the lads Tristan is the opposite on field, providing an option and also getting to the feet and back up our lumbering forwards. A silky player who will threaten goals all day. Alex “Karaoke King” Jones KK is an unassuming junior with a clean handball who is a master at heading into congested packs grabbing the footy and threading it out to release to an outside player. His kryptonite? If he manages to find a karaoke machine the night before the game he will likely staying up long after team curfew and belting out 80’s classics at the top of his lungs till sunrise. Tom Robinson When he’s not raving with the “karaoke king” he’s busy making his opponents look stupid. With all the footy assets that make a great player Tommy is the young fresh set of legs every asian football team needs. ‘Irish’ Tom Delaney The Jimmy Stynes mould has been rediscovered in Hanoi. Talented tap ruckman who tore the far more fancied South a new one in last year’s CVGs. Looking forward to his debut in Swannies colours! Damien "10 kegs" Judd This being the 10th year of ANZAC games there’s not too many Swans still standing, of the 3; GUS looks like it was yesterday, Billy has lost precisely 167 phones on footy tours since and Damo has put on 10kgs a year by the looks. The big fella hits it harder than ever and provides a wall in defense and a powerful midfield option when needed. Quang ‘Trungy’ Trung The heart of the Northern Swans, Trungy brings as much passion to the game as anyone and is inspiring the next generation of Viet players out of the capital. He also has built up great skills and dangerous game awareness for any opposition. Shane ‘Sha Mac’ Macfarlane Another accountant who rings fire to any footy tour. Sha Mac also fires in positions all over the ground for the Swans being one of the most versatile players on the field. Nath ‘Sean’ Milner Part of the most devastating sibling combos in Asian Footy. Nath creates unbelievable bounce off half back and makes it look so easy. Pace, skills, game awareness makes it all look too easy! Seany ‘Nath’ Milner The other half, bigger brother Sean does the hard work, going into the guts and using his trusty left boot to thrust the Swans forward time and time again. Jay "Plugger" Schlitz Jay will be excited about strapping on the boots against Thailand. The big bodied forward with a great set of hands in the air and along the ground topped off with a straight kick will be nightmare for defenders. Many are suggesting we may just have Asian football’s version of the great Tony Lockett. Lukey Turner The Swans original pom in defense Lukey has returned from injury and has acquired an all valuable tour pass for Penang. Lukey could be heading for another Player’s Player back half to the season? Mark ‘Sleepy’ Doherty Missing the team bus is Mark’s biggest danger come ANZAC weekend after just getting back from Cambodia. If he gets to the field will be a goal scoring risk all day! Nguyen Quang "Big" Vinh The original leader of the Vietnamese mafia, Vinh has recovered from injury and is ready to fire! "Uncle" Gus McEwin Gus has retired more times than he has broken up with his mrs. Looks a bit younger than he did in the Swan's first ANZAC Game and the skills are improving like a fine wine.
  19. 19. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 23 Tigers Intro Since 2000, the Tigers have gone from strength to strength on & off the field. The club have been regular participants in the AFL Asian Championships, hosting in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, and again in 2015. We also participate in the Indochina Cup and have taken the cup home on four occasions – 2007, 2009, 2014 and 2015. Importantly we played a key part in setting up the Indochina Bulldogs, a combined team of indigenous players from the region with guidance from their inaugural coach, the West Coast Eagle premiership player and 2006 Norm Smith Medalist, Andrew Embley. Undoubtedly the key event on the Tigers’ calendar is the ANZAC Commemorative Match, held annually at Kanchanaburi Thailand. First held in 2004, the game is played in honour of all the men and women who have defended our nations as an ANZAC, and we are fortunate to have Diggers in attendance at our game, including men who were POWs in Thailand during WWII. Traveling with the Quiet Lions tour group, the Diggers’ participation is the highlight of the event. HISTORY OF THE TIGERS The Thailand Tigers origins date back to 1993, when four footy blokes got together for a kick in Lumpini Park. The club was officially established in 1996, with the Tigers hosting the Hong Kong Dragons in their first game of “competitive football”. From there the Tigers would become an active part of the Asian footy calendar, and in 2000 were part of the 4 Nations Cup – Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia – an event that would later be known as the Asian Championships. 2016 was the 20 year anniversary for the Tigers, and and the club is still going stronger than ever. Recent on-field success has enhanced the hugely successful social scene that defines the club. 2016 also saw the club establish the Sabre Tooth Tigers – our own masters team, who debuted at the Bali masters and have continue to attend each year since. Led by Captain Shieldsy, in his second year in charge, the Tigers are very much in a transitional stage, with the majority of the current players from origins other than Australia! The club are also working hard to develop local Thai players, and have made big inroads with an expanding Auskick program attracting up to 40 local Thai children to sessions. In our most recent match, held in Phuket late march, the Tigers went down by the narrowest of margins to the Indonesian Rockers.
  20. 20. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD24 Tigers Team Guide Dave Shields Club captain and reigning best and fairest, Shieldsy is an ever reliable footballer who works incredibly hard. In fact, Shieldsy is just an all round nice guy. Good luck to anyone who tries to catch him, tackle him, or outmark him. Justin Olsson Very creatively nicknamed, Ollie spent his first few years keeping time and scoring for the Tigers before a stellar off field performance at last years ANZAC match saw him get his boots. A big unit, Ollie is handy at either end of the field, possessing silky skills. Goes very well when he is not hungover and not too bad when he is. Look to see him possibly dominate both on and off the field. John Wellby Wellby is a crafty forward who loves snagging goals. Joining the club via the veterans draft, Wellby has slotted into the side superbly and become a favourite among all the Tigers, doing some amazing work following on from the irreplaceable Bear in running the Auskick program. For a greater insight into Wellby, sit down and have a chat with one of his boys and marvel at the stories that come out. His only downfall is that he supports the Crows. Michael Sammons Club stallwart, games record holder, coach, captain, best and fairest, leading goal kicker, t-shirt designer... Samo has done it all! He likes to think he looks like George Clooney, and rather bizarrely has many photos of naked men in his outdoor shower. A gun back man, Samo took up the coaching gig so he could position himself at full forward. Samo is a great clubman and along with Yoda one of most toured Tigers. Look for him to either dominate, or go off early injured if the Tigers are well behind. Brandon Butler King Joffrey! I had to Google it see who the hell this person was, and I have to say the likeness is more than uncanny. Joffrey has only just arrived at the Tigers, and fully embraced all that the club offers. Unfortunately he won't be around much longer and this may be his last tour. A crafty little footballer who knows how to find the goals, Joffrey will no doubt tear games apart after he reaches puberty. Andrew Smith The rather nonchalant 2.0 has a dodgey calf and will more thank likely end up flying to Manilla by mistake. His last tour to Vietnam saw him go luggage-less for the trip, so hopefully at least his bag arrives this time. 2.0 is also a hard working footballer who is very hard at the contest. Look for him to challenge Ollie for off field domination. Eric Nguy Easy by name, easy by nature. Easy looks like he couldn't be stuffed playing football, yet he has been playing some very impressive football of late, taking his game to a new level. Can run all day and has excellent decision making and disposal. Unfortunately his abilities off the field have shown no signs of improving, with plenty of work to be done on his sculling skills. Alan Sutherland Yoda is the same age as the rest of the team combined! Despite this, he will probably get as many possessions as the rest of the team. A perennial tourer and one of the longest serving Tigers, Yoda has given a lot to the club and continues to make massive contributions both on and off the field. If you haven't shared a room with Yoda, then you haven't truly toured with the Tigers.
  21. 21. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 25 Women’s Footy In Vietnam WOMEN’S FOOTY IN VIETNAM Trainings on a weekly basis started in Late January for the newly established Lady swans team. With no time to lose in the AFLW Asia competition already having three AFLW teams in the competition. With the first game against Cambodia on the 10 th March the girls had all to gain and nothing to lose, Coach Chia Sabbatucci gathering ladies from all pools of talent in Vietnam from Soccer, Gaelic, and Rugby hoping that the girls could quickly pick up on the fundamental Australian Football skills (such as kicking, Hand balling, marking, and tackling) and start having an understanding of AFL the game that most Australians Love and breath. Skills like play- reading and decision-making can be typically high in women that have played other alike sports, but for the gilrs that havent played these sports it will take patience from the coaches to develop these skills with the ladies. It is of great disappointment that we couldn’t get the team together for the ANZAC weekend match in Vang Tau with having half our team with other prior commitments for the long weekend, But we do hope to get a few of our girls on the pitch with the golden oldies for a kick. The next Official AFLW Asia game is against the Malaysian warrior women team in Penang on the 19 th of May which we are very excited to announce we will be able to field 16 Girls. The Vietnam swans have established two goals for 2018 firsty short term goal is to have the Swans lady team learn the fundamentals of AFL, secondly our long term goal would be to send an experienced team (girls having a broad knowledge of the game) to the ASIAN championships in October 2018. Club members have been very supportive of the newly established women’s team and are very confident in the Women’s AFL development. Stay tuned for more news about the lady Swans journey!
  22. 22. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD26 Women’s Footy In Vietnam
  23. 23. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 27 Ron And Ailsa Ron, can you summarize your involvement in the Vietnam war? My experience was somewhat different to most others. I was permanent Air Force, in communications. We did not get to form close cohorts as we worked shift work, there were not many of us and they rotated between Nui Dat and Vung Tau. Sport and entertainment and social projects helped integrate us with local people and other services. I left the country during the Tet Offensive and had little time to reflect on the political and personal effects of the war. Ailsa what did you make of Ron's time here? Ron had previously spent time in Ubon, Thailand and on his posting back to Melbourne, he met Ailsa who was in the WRAAF. They were engaged prior to his Vietnam posting and married on his return. Being in the Service, Ailsa was always up to date with the war and with men returning regularly had first hand info. It was a long year with so many letters and one phone call from Hong Kong when he was on R&R. When you left the country what was your feeling towards it? We continued to live a life protected from the outside world on RAAF base Darwin, so were not subjected to the disgusting political backlash at our servicemen returning from Vietnam. Even RSL Clubs treated Vietnam Vets as second class citizens not worthy of their membership. When did you guys head back to vietnam? what were your thoughts then? It was forty years before Ron was able to return to Vietnam and see the country in a different light. The first trip was a tour which included Vung Tau only RON & AILSA VERNON Ron and Ailsa Vernon have become synonymous with the ANZAC Friendship Game in Vietnam. Ron’s insights on the difficulties facing soldiers on both sides 50 years ago pre match for the Swans stand new and old Swans hairs straight up on their necks Ron presenting the Swans with the Friendship Match Shield after last year's win over the Cambodian Eagles. Ron & Ailsa have been able to make a real difference to so many lives here in Vietnam after such traumatic experiences here around half a century ago.
  24. 24. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD28 Ron And Ailsa Ron's motivational chats with the Swans player's pre-game have become the stuff of legend! because we insisted. The tour left Ron unsatisfied, needing more time to see more of the city and the people. We returned the following year wanting to do something to make a difference to the lives of kids. How did you become involved with My Huong and the Centre for Protection of Children in Vung Tau? We met My Huong through introduction by Glenn Nolan and became involved with the Centre for Protection of Children in Vung Tau. We returned home and canvassed support from family and friends to raise money to start a kindy for the young children. These kids are now teenagers and doing very well. These children are all either orphaned, surrendered to the centre or abandoned but now see the Centre as home and the others as family. What’s your involvement now? Although unable to contribute physically, we continue to visit and introduce visitors, and support the many projects My Huong presents. The Vietnam Swans are one of the groups who visit and support the Centre each year and their visit usually brings ice creams and snacks which the kids love. What have been some of the highlights of your involvement? They are reluctant to isolate highlights of their involvement. So many special and moving moments. It is just an absolute blessing to see the lovely teenagers developing and showing what is ahead for the tiny ones just starting. Regrets are you can only do so much and you cannot help everybody but you can sure try. How would you suggest people get involved if they want to help with causes like this? Suggest anyone wanting to know more about the projects and the Centre check out the Vung Tau orphanage website and contact My Huong. You guys have become a huge part of the Friendship Matches enduring success but how has it's development affected your time in Vietnam? We missed the first year and were really excited to hear about it so next visit we made sure we were here and plan our annual visits to be here each year. The first year our son Brad played his first game of footy on the same oval his dad played on during the war. This meant a great deal as a family. Ron's footy matches on the Lord Mayors Oval and the camaraderie shared with other teams in after match functions was so memorable. The Swans and visiting teams carry on a great tradition and the after match dinner is super important to the tradition.
  28. 28. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD32 History Of The VFL
  29. 29. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 33 History Of The VFL
  30. 30. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD34 History Of The VFL
  31. 31. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 35 History Of The VFL
  32. 32. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD36 History Of The VFL
  33. 33. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 37 Saigon Colts Auskick Each Saturday morning from 9am - 10.15am at the Australian International School, HCMC D2, Saigon Colts Auskick conducts an Aussie Rules Footy clinic for children aged between 5 and 12. Auskick focuses on having fun, kicking the footy and meeting new friends. Parent participation is also encouraged as the young kids love playing footy with their mom or dad. While numbers are limited due the amount our full time coaches, we are able to provide the ‘Aussie rules’ experience to the local kids who love to use skills differing from Vietnams number one sport, soccer. In the past year Saigon Auskick has increased its ratio of local kids and look to further this as we continue in the year. Members are provided with a full uniform and this year they also receive a replica guernseys of their favourite teams, which also include the Vietnam Swans. Saigon Colts also play host South Melbourne Districts Auskick each year, when they come to visit Vietnam, touring the tunnels and coming to Vung Tau to visit a local orphanage. Saigon Auskick is extremely grateful of the continuing support of our sponsors; Crown Relocations, Outsource IT, Meatworks Butchery, AIS, and Al Fresco’s Group. Their partnerships enable us to develop Aussie Rules in Vietnam at the foundation. If you like to know more about Auskick in Saigon, please contact us via: and follow us on
  35. 35. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 39 Vung Tau Orphanage THE CENTRE FOR PROTECTION OF CHILDREN UPDATE The association between the Vietnam Swans and Trung Tam Bao Tro Tre Em Vung Tau/Long Hai began with the Inaugural Anzac Friendship Match in Vung Tau in 2010. Over this period we are happy to have shared the story and introduced many people to the staff and children at our centre and the school at Long Hai. The Vung Tau Centre is well and truly established in their new home on Ngo Quyen street, Phuong Thang Nhat and the majority of the school aged children are now attending Government schools. The population varies from day to day with new admissions and some adoptions, but currently there are 92 children. Children are admitted to our Centre for many and complex reasons, including abandonment, inability to provide a home or care, loss of parents and/ or family carers, imprisonment or picked up by authorities when living on the street. In our Centre these children have a sanctuary where they are safe, well nourished, clean and prepared for life outside. The Centre is their home and the staff and children are family. Disabled children have special carers and are given special exercise therapy. Many of the children are affected by serious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and the results of Agent Orange, but with medical support and dedicated staff,they now live and in the future can live productive and healthy lives. Last year two of our girls became the first of our children to qualify and attend university. We see this as a huge landmark. The Long Hai school continues to develop the future path for the children of extremely poor families. From rough beginnings, the children are now showing what can be achieved. All children wear uniforms sewn by their own sewing class, have their hair washed and cut in their beauty salon, repair and rebuild motorcycles as well as their regular lessons. They receive a hot meal each day and many have now received push bikes to make their travel to school easier. At this centre there is also education and care provided for 26 mentally handicap children. For these children being at the centre means they can have an opportunity to mix with other children and learn basic life skills. If at home a family member would be required to care for them, hence one less member in a family would then be able to work. It speaks for itself that the staff turnover at the school is very little. Our staff is dedicated to the cause with little monetary compensation.
  37. 37. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 41 ANZAC Day AFL Brings Mateship To Vietnam AFL Brings Mateship to Vietnam Australia’s ANZAC Day AFL is underpinned by mateship no matter where it is played, but in Vietnam this is taking on a particularly profound meaning. Since its inception in 2010, the ANZAC Friendship Match at Vung Tau has been the catalyst for an ever-strengthening friendship between Australia and Vietnam. Over the years, a close community of people from both nations has grown around the match and its host team, the Vietnam Swans. Every year, players and spectators join together in respect for all those who made sacrifices during one of Asia’s most horrific modern conflicts, no matter what side they were on, and to show their appreciation and support for Vietnam today. Match Founded on Respect for Both Sides Former President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns, was first struck by the idea of an ANZAC Match for Vietnam in 2009, when the Swans played in the Thailand Tigers ANZAC Commemorative Match at Kanchanaburi. “25 April that year fell on a Saturday so we went to the Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass and that was followed by the game,” he says. “Three ex POWs were there at the game. Listening to them speak [at the service] had been incredible – to learn so much.” Current Swans Captain, Bill Crang, agrees. “It was really humbling…and that was when we were like wow there’s quite a bit of power to this.” The following year, the ANZAC AFL had its first run in Vietnam. “We held a domestic match where the Vietnam Swans fielded the two teams,” says Phil. “It was a relatively low key event in terms of marketing as we needed to ensure that we could negotiate the sensitivities involved.” The day began with a welcome address from Phil, followed by a moments silence led by the Australian Ambassador, Allaster Cox, and all three countries’ National Anthems. In his address, Phil explained what the Swans were hoping to achieve with the match and why they were holding it. “The Vietnam Swans is just an Aussie Rules Club made up of ordinary people from different backgrounds who are living in an extraordinary place,” he said. “We are humbled by the generosity shown to us by those who have so warmly welcomed us into their country, and…The Vietnam Swans hope that this match will help build the ever strengthening friendship between two friends: Australia and Vietnam.” In the match later that day, the Swans wore two black armbands while playing instead of the traditional single band – one on each arm – as a symbol of who they were playing for. “We all live here and we’re very thankful to live here,” says Captain, Bill. Reproduced from a wonderful article published on written by ZoeOsborne. ANZAC DAY
  38. 38. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD42 ANZAC Day AFL Brings Mateship To Vietnam “We have a deep respect for anyone who fought and on both sides – it would be two or none, we’d never do one.” We Played Here During the War After its launch in 2010, the ANZAC Friendship Match quickly sparked interest among the Veteran community back in Australia. Although the Swans didn’t know it at the time, the location they had chosen for the match had also been used for Aussie rules during The War in a league then known as the VFL (Vietnam Football League). Two weeks after the game, ex-serviceman Stan Middleton left a comment on the Swans website. “A full scale Aussie Rules Competition between [seven] Australian units was conducted [twice a year],” he wrote. “We initially played all our games where the Greyhound Racing Track is now in Vung Tau… and we played 14 a side because of the ground being a soccer ground.” Retired RAAF serviceman Ron Vernon also came across Vietnam’s ANZAC AFL online, shortly after the game. “The Swans just put different things on Facebook I suppose and that’s how I picked it up one night,” he says. “I contacted Phil Johns who was running it and we communicated from there.” Like today’s ANZAC Match, friendship was a core feature of the VFL. Back then, the game was a valuable expression of mateship for its players and an important way to raise their spirits. “It was seen as a huge morale booster for the soldiers based in Vung Tau,” says Stan. “I know my unit loved it and looked forward to every game. We would take at least a truckload of supporters with us, as well as a truckload of players. A truckload of beer too!” “It was a fairly tough competition because some of the people used to play in the top Melbourne teams and they were pretty good footballers!” Ron remembers, “Every game was played to compete but after the game we’d all get together and have a BBQ and a drink, it was a way of relaxing and just friendship really.” Today’s ANZAC match is a similar mix of serious competition and friendly beers. A strong community of locals, expats, veterans and AFL enthusiasts from all over the world has gathered around the annual event in commemoration and mutual respect. It comprises three games – two matches earlier in the day and the main game hosted by the Vietnam Swans with their two black arm-bands. “This year we saw the first women’s match in Vietnam,” says club President, Eric Kerrison. “We also have a legends game, which includes players from all walks of life from Veterans to ex-residents of Vietnam and local players just wanting to be involved.” Vietnamese and Australians Bond Over the Footy The Swans team itself is a tight-knit group of men of a range of nationalities, skill sets, fitness levels and ages. They train every week at HCMC’s RMIT, ending each session with beers, sausages and quite often torrential monsoon rain. “There’s a little cafe out the front that also sells beers and it used to be behind a huge tree,” says captain, Bill. “You’d just stand there and ask the tree for beer, and the owner would bring it out. So the boys called it the beer tree!” A growing number of club members are Vietnamese, and to teammate Dinh Anh, the diversity within the Swans is an ideal way to share cultures, language and life experiences. He joined the club in March 2016. “I find the sport so interesting because you can tackle and kick and use the whole body to play with the ball,” he says. “I think more and more Vietnamese people will want to play [AFL] because they can learn about Australia and practise their English.” The Vietnamese players also offer a new dimension to the way the team plays. “We’ve got a few Vietnamese players now that are at a good game level,” says Captain, Bill. “They’re smaller and faster so they offer a totally different side to our game.” To Bill, the future of Vietnam’s AFL lies in generating more local involvement. “Having more Vietnamese The Cambodian Eagles before the 2017 ANZAC Friendship Match
  39. 39. 2018 ANZAC FRIENDSHIP MATCH RECORD 43 ANZAC Day AFL Brings Mateship To Vietnam players involved will get us playing more footy, get the standards up, get us exposure locally in the community,” he says. “And it’s great fun! We really try to have a special focus on bringing local guys in – it’s become a fundamental objective of the club.” But while they are an increasingly diverse demographic, the Swans are first and foremost good mates. “You might ask some people from other clubs here “what does this guy do for a job” and they have no idea, whereas I know awkward amounts of stuff about every guy in ours,” he says. “Back in Australia the boys from footy clubs share a lot of things from their lives and it’s the same thing here…” The friendship within the Swans club also extends to other members of the community, particularly the Australian Veterans who make the trip out for the ANZAC Friendship Match each year. “The Swans are very inclusive of all us old VFL players,” says ex- serviceman, Stan Middleton. “The shield they play for is modelled on the one we played for during the war! [And] they named their key note speech after the game after me – “The Middleton Address” – which was a huge honour.” This year a few Vietnamese ex-servicemen also got involved with the ANZAC match, coming to the post-match dinner later in the day. “The Aussie Vets living in Vung Tau reached out to them and they have all started to go for coffees and beers together as mates,” says Swans captain, Bill. “A few joined us at the dinner…there are heaps of photos of the guys all together. It’s become the stage where the [Australian] Vets are coming back and trying to do good things and the Vietnamese Vets are…welcoming them. I think that’s amazing.” Football Club Members Help People in Need Two such Australians, Veteran Ron and his wife Ailsa, have been coming to Vung Tau for years. They work with the Center for the Protection of Children at Long Hai, raising funds for the Center through their own initiative, The Princess Project, which was set up in 2008. According to Ron and Ailsa, most of the children at the Center are abandoned and many are HIV positive. Most of them have been there for a long time. “It used to be that [parents] could just bring children in but now they really have to have a reason,” says Ailsa. “Now, [many of] the kids are abandoned. They’ll take them to the beach and just leave them there or the Center will find kids living on the streets.” My Huong, the Director of the Center, contacts the Project to let them know what the Center needs, and they provide the funds. “We never give money to the Center,” says Ron. “We just keep raising it and when My Huong says they need something we try to buy it for them.” My Huong has also put them in touch with a few families in the Vung Tau community who are equally as in need of help. Although Ron and Ailsa work with donations from a range of individual sponsors, their work is also supported by the Swans, who hold fundraising events to raise money for the Princess Project’s initiatives. According to Swans President, Eric, this is a fundamental part of the football club. “It is a passion for the Swannies,” he says. “We have supported various charities over the years by hosting fundraising events and we currently support Swim Vietnam and the Vung Tau orphanage.” Their work with Swim Vietnam, a charity organisation providing free swimming and water safety lessons to children and training local adults as swimming instructors, involves raising money to support their initiatives. “It is heartbreaking from an Australian point of view, and probably a community point of view, to know that more kids die from drowning here in Vietnam than in road accidents,” says Eric. The Swans don’t run for profit, charging their players just enough to cover costs. “We kind of exist to keep rolling,” says Captain, Bill. “On Grand Final Day we make a bit of cash, but everything else including ANZAC Day is actually for charity.” To Bill, this kind of work is the most profound aspect of the Swans football club. “From our perspective [this work] lets us exist for a much better purpose,” he says. “Let’s be honest, we play pretty average football in a strange place, so… it just makes it that much more rewarding. I think it’s one of the strongest things we’ve got.” A number of club members outside the team itself also work in the Vung Tau community, offering support to people who need it out of both compassion and respect. To them, this work is a way to express their appreciation and compassion for Vietnam today, in a country they now call home.
  • GrantKeys2

    Apr. 27, 2018

The 2018 AFL Asia Vietnam Friendship Match Record. This will be available at the game between the Vietnam Swans and the Thailand Tigers on 28th of April at Lam Son Oval in Vung Tau (the dog track). This is the 10th year the Swans have played an ANZAC Day match with the first being in Kanchanaburi Thailand, the remaining in Vung Tau. Back in the war the Australian troops played football for R&R on the same field that the Friendship match is played on today!


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